Gerard Arthus - Teaching Philosophy
I think that all education, whatever the field, should have a strong Cross-
Disciplinary emphasis. My educational background has included a concentration in
both the Social and Hard Sciences and how they relate to Systems Theory. During
my early years and throughout my life I also worked in the Technical Services
field first as a Plumbing and Electrical Contractor and later specializing in
Computers and Information Systems. My Computer and Information Systems
background, includes a strong interest in both the Hardware and Software aspects
of the field. I have done programming, built servers and workstations, installed
the operating systems and even customized various Windows, Unix and Linux
My philosophy of life is consistent with my thoughts on education. Education
should carefully integrate the practical aspects of Technology with the Intellectual
aspects of 'learning'. This is especially true when attempting to introduce
concepts across fields of study or to individuals who may have little experience
with the information and ideas being discussed. I apply methods of simplification
in order to describe concepts in a clear and understandable manner. An example I
often use concerns an Algebra Course which I had developed. It is common
practice for Mathematics to be taught solely from the perspective of the
Mathematics Department. My course included a general perspective on Algebra,
intended for science students; and, specific perspectives which might include
examples from the construction industry, if a student was in a Construction
Management Technology Program (CMT), or other examples for different careers.
The students in the CMT Program would cover all of the aspects which the
General Algebra Course would include, but from the perspective of the CMT Field.
This approach allows students to understand how each of the general concepts
apply to what they were doing and will be working with in the future.
Such an approach is of particular importance when dealing with Computer and
Information Systems. Increasingly, every field of study is being permeated with
Information and Computer Systems Concepts. This is why a Cross-disciplinary
approach is critical for instruction in nearly all areas of study.
I prefer the challenge of teaching different types of courses in diverse
departments or areas of study. This allows one to understand the different
perspectives which must be brought to the classroom in order to allow the
instructor to show how the course material relates to the different directions
which each student may be taking in the future.
Much of this can be accomplished by taking a three-part approach to education.
All of my courses include the following components:
- The On-Line Resource component - which provides the bulk of the
information to the student.
Classroom assignments - which familiarize the student with social
interaction and presentation of their ideas to others in a public forum.
The face-to-face lecture component - which ties On-Line resources and the
Classroom presentations into a coherent synthesis of the course itself.